“To Me the Invictus Games is About Never Giving Up”
Nicola joined the Army aged 17. During basic training she suffered a blackout, was hospitalised and subsequently medically discharged. Nicola profoundly missed military life and the feeling of being part of a team so she joined the Territorial Army, first as an engineer before transferring to the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 2004 Nicola joined the Royal Air Force as a Supplier and discovered a job about which she was passionate. She completed two tours of the Falklands and one tour of Afghanistan. Nicola left the RAF in 2013 and struggled to adjust to civilian life. She suffered from depression and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD.
How has sport helped you so far with your recovery?
Running is my medicine. When I was struggling with everything I took up running and found it was the only thing that would keep me calm. It helps me to forget what has gone wrong and enables me to keep a clear head. It’s the only time I can truly be alone, and comfortable, with my thoughts. That year I competed in a 10k and my first half marathon. Since then I’ve taken part in over 90 races!
Why did you choose to get involved with the opportunity to run in the Virgin London Marathon 2018 on behalf of the Invictus Games Foundation?
In 2016 I felt alone and isolated. I had moved to London where I didn’t know anyone and then I lost my job. I started sinking back into a black hole of depression. Thankfully I managed to get a job at The Poppy Factory and turned things around.
To me the Invictus Games is about never giving up and pushing yourself to the limit. I really wanted to push myself further and prove that I could do a marathon. It is also important to me to spread the message that running, or any physical activity, is good for mental health and well-being.
When I applied to the Invictus Games Foundation to be part of this opportunity I didn’t expect to get a place. I feel extremely proud to have been selected and am really looking forward to running in the London Marathon this month.
Are you hoping to compete in a future iteration of the Invictus Games?
I would like to take part in the Invictus Games but I don’t feel that I’m physically ready at the moment. Hopefully completing the London Marathon will be the start of my Invictus Games journey.
So what’s next for you? What are your hope for the future?
My next goal is to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. I’d also love to compete in an 100km walk.